Emerging Players shock Pride to reach Regional Super50 Cup final

Cricket

Emerging Players shock Pride to reach Regional Super50 Cup final

Saturday, November 30, 2019

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — Giant-killers West Indies Emerging Players produced perhaps their biggest shock of the Regional Super50 Cup when they held their nerves to upset high-flying Barbados Pride by three wickets under Duckworth-Lewis-Stern and clinch a place in tomorrow's final.

In a nerve-jangling finish at Queen's Park Oval on Thursday, the Emerging Players withstood several floodlight failures and a rain break to overhaul their revised target of 111 off 43 overs, and defy the odds yet again.

With tensions all around, Keon Harding (nine not out) whipped fellow Barbadian Chemar Holder to the mid-wicket boundary, to spark celebrations among the unit which was hastily pulled together just prior to the start of the tournament.

Little known wicketkeeper Joshua DaSilva top-scored with 27, but it was Roland Cato who shone, fashioning a responsible unbeaten 25 to hold the innings together when nerves became frayed.

Under-19 World Cup-bound left-arm spinner Ashmead Nedd had earlier conjured a magical spell to finish with four for 29 as Pride were routed for 119 in the 32nd over.

Off-spinner Kevin Sinclair, who finished with two for 25 from 10 superb overs, also made key strikes at the top of the order, while leg-spinning Captain Yannic Cariah supported with two for 21, as Pride found themselves unable to respond to a mesmerising spin attack.

Zachary McCaskie, in only his second match at his level, led Pride's batting with 40 off 62 balls but other than Nicholas Kirton with 26 and Ashley Nurse, 25, the favourites struggled to find momentum.

Sent in, Pride were in trouble as early when both openers Leniko Boucher (five) and Kjorn Ottley (0) fell cheaply to leave the innings tottering on seven for two in the second over.

Sinclair then turned the game on its head when he struck twice in the seventh over, removing Captain Jonathan Carter to a catch at the wicket for three before trapping Kyle Mayers lbw two balls later without scoring.

McCaskie, who struck five fours in a 62-ball knock, came to his side's rescue, however, posting 55 for the fifth wicket with Kirton, who faced 48 balls and struck one six.

Pride were beginning to regain their balance when McCaskie was run out in the 20th over, and his departure saw the last six wickets fall for 47 runs.

Nurse tried to counter-attack, lashing a four and two sixes in a 20-ball knock but Nedd pinned him on the back foot to gain an lbw verdict in the 28th over.

Defending their small total, Pride wasted little time in hitting back, quickly reducing the Emerging Players' innings to 43 for four in the 15th over.

Leonardo Julien (one) was smartly stumped by Tevyn Walcott in the seventh over off off-spinner Nurse (3-35) after over-balancing in his crease, Cariah (two) was lbw to the same bowler two overs later and opener Kimani Melius made 18 before recklessly holing out to cover off left-arm spinner Joshua Bishop in the 10th over.

When the in-form Justin Greaves (five) gifted his wicket by lifting Nurse to long on, the tide of the game had turned.

A crucial 33-run, fifth-wicket stand between DaSilva and Cato ensued as Emerging Players fought back, to get within touching distance of their target.

DaSilva, who struck two fours off 66 balls, fell to a catch at the wicket off Holder immediately after a break in play, and fast bowler Miguel Cummins accounted for Sinclair (eight) and Dominic Drakes (three) in quick succession, to leave Emerging Players on 100 for seven in the 36th over.

But with the target revised, Cato and Harding played sensibly to see their side home.


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